Paramore, The O2 Arena, 12/01/2018

On the 12th January 2018 Paramore played the O2 Arena, in London, as part of their Tour Three UK tour. The band were supported by long term friends MeWithoutYou.

The band last played The O2 in 2010 and have since shifted in sound and faces. They’ve won Grammy’s, lost members and put out two CDs, but it’s taken 8 years for them to come back as self-confident and happy as they did this time. Tour Three came off of the back of their fully sold-out Summer 2017 shows, which saw the band conquer an incredible, yet intimate sold out night at The Royal Albert Hall, in London. The band have definitely filled into their new material. They brought their spectacular musical catalogue and staging to London, with optimism by the bucket load.

Paramore opened the night- met with a roar of applause from the packed out crowd- with the gloriously up-beat, pop hit, ‘Hard Times’, which was the band’s comeback single last year. They intertwined it with a snippet of Blondie’s ‘Heart of Glass’, a band which Paramore draw reference to quite often. This prepared the audience for the highlights from their latest album, which were sewn between reworked hits from their previous four albums.

The band don’t dwell on a lot of their old material, with tracks from their first couple of albums phasing out over the last few tours. Those left in were successfully reworked to mirror their change in line-up and increasingly positive and comfortable presence. ‘Hard Times’ flows seamlessly into Brand New Eyes’ ‘Ignorance’- sung into a megaphone- and the bubble-gum pop hit ‘Still Into You’, with ‘Grow Up’ also receiving a makeover as it was peppered with a snippet of SZA’s ’20 Something’. Having said that, tradition still remained as Hayley Williams invited a lucky seated fan to join her on stage for ‘Misery Business’, par for the course.

Of course, After Laughter took centre stage. The band rattled through songs from the album, performing each with perfect precision. Williams let MeWithoutYou’s Adam Weiss take the reins for their track ‘No Friend’, whilst Taylor York, Zac Farro and co. had a chance to show off their incredible instrument playing. The band closed the show with their latest single ‘Rose Coloured Boy’, which saw the audience fully won over. Their encore also saw drummer Zac Farro play ‘French Class’, one of his band HalfNoise’s tracks, similar to what they did on the last tour. It worked really well and was very refreshing to hear.

What struck me most, as a fan who has been following them for nearly 8 years now, was how comfortable the band sounded. The band’s sound and stage presence finally felt relaxed and happy and, as a result, the fans seemed to respond to it more positively. It was the ultimate dance party and enough to keep any fan happy. They spend so much time as a band building their fan base to feel like a family and that was definitely reflected in the atmosphere on the night. As Hayley Williams said, between new and old tracks, “we’re not who we were when we were 15. We won’t judge you by how you were then, so we hope you don’t judge us”. I can’t wait to see what Paramore do next and I, for one, will follow it.

Paramore, The O2 Arena, 12/01/2018

2018- Ones to Watch

As the class of 2017’s Ones to Watch graduate onto big things, it makes sense to start the year off with a fresh batch of up and coming talent who are soon to be making waves within the music industry. Last year’s bands included: Sundara Karma (who went onto headline a show at Brixton’s O2 Academy and release their debut album), Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Declan McKenna, VANT, The Big Moon (who went on to be nominated for this year’s Mercury Prize), Blaenavon, Cabbage, Will Joseph Cook, Clean Cut Kid and The Amazons, all of which have gone on to do exciting things, whether it be releasing their debut album or collecting an array of prestigious awards. This year’s list could go on forever, but I’ve picked out my highlights.

The Magic Gang

Brighton’s The Magic Gang have been about for the last few years. They’ve supported countless bands and played multiple day time festival slots, but now it’s their turn to take to the big stage. They’ve taken their time putting out gloriously upbeat, alternative singles and- hopefully- are preparing to put out a full length record in the near future. Regardless, they’re definitely worth a listen.

FOR FANS OF: Sundara Karma, The Big Moon, Circa Waves

LISTEN TO: Jasmine, How Can I Compete, Your Love, All This Way


Pale Waves

Pale Waves are one of the latest great bands to come from the hit-making record label Dirty Hit. In the last year or so they’ve already played Madison Square Garden, had singles produced by label mate Matty Healy (The 1975) and toured the UK a handful of times on their own. Their sound is similar to that of The 1975s, with its dark, sugar coated outside and classic indie-rock core. Oh, and they’ve already got matching band tattoos, so they’re in it for the long run!

FOR FANS OF: The 1975, The Japanese House, Swim Deep, Fickle Friends

LISTEN TO: There’s A Honey, Television Romance, New Year’s Eve


Billie Eilish

Straight out of LA, 16-year-old Billie Eilish is already making waves in the world of music. Her soothing indie-elctropop spell tales of teenage love and loss, in ways which are mature beyond her years. The tracks themselves are effortlessly easy to listen to, with hints of artists such as Lana Del Rey seeping through. In 2017, Eilish released the EP stylised as dont smile at me, which includes a successful collab with Vince Staples (which echoes singles ‘watch’).  The EP has the youthful optimism of Lorde’s Pure Heroine, with a cool edge. I can’t wait to see Eilish live eventually, with a sporadic selection of sold out worldwide dates popping up all over the place as we speak.

FOR FANS OF: Lana Del Rey, Lorde

LISTEN TO: Watch, idontwannabeyouanymore, Party Favor and Ocean Eyes


Ten Tonnes

Ten Tonnes is an exciting up and coming singer/songwriter who plays upbeat, easy to listen to alternative tunes on his electric guitar. The songs ooze an air of cool, with catchy chorus’ galore. He’s also brilliant live, with a natural, relaxed and collected stage presence, and is about to embark on a UK tour as support for RatBoy, with fellow 2018 up and coming trailblazers Bad Sounds.

FOR FANS OF: Tom Grennan, Will Joseph Cook, and feel good pop songs.

LISTEN TO: Lucy, Cracks Between, Born to Lose, Love Me To Death


Tom Grennan

Tom Grennan is undeniably one to watch. His voice is timeless, with a maturity many take years of graft to grasp. Grennan’s polished pop songs are a masterclass in how to write a modern classic and his soulful, blusey voice is tireless.

FOR FANS OF: Soulful strong male vocals

LISTEN TO: Found What I’ve Been Looking For, Royal Highness, Praying, Something in the Water


Rex Orange County

Rex Orange County’s is a British singer/songwriter, whose songs possess the lyrical wit of that of The Streets and are fused with hip-hop, pop and jazz influence. He’s already has a large following of famous fans, including Tyler, The Creator, who featured Rex Orange County on his latest album and has been tipped by BBC Music on their Sound of 2018 list, in which he came second. His music is effortlessly cool and clever. It’s something unique and special.

FOR FANS OF: The Streets, Rat Boy, Declan McKenna

LISTEN TO: Best Friend, Loving is Easy, Television/So Far So Good



Sigrid is set to be one of the most exciting solo artists of the year. The Norwegian singer’s feel good pop tunes are infectiously catchy and are set to soundtrack the Summer of 2018. She shot to fame after releasing the Don’t Kill My Vibe EP in 2017 and has been unstoppable since, with a sold out UK tour coming up and plenty of big festival sets already under her belt. What’s more, she’s recently been crowned the winner of BBC Music’s Sound of 2018. Watch this space!

FOR FANS OF: MØ, Dua Lipa, Anne-Marie, and a strong female pop vocal.

LISTEN TO: Don’t Kill My Vibe, Strangers, Plot Twist


Sam Fender

Sam Fender is just beginning to emerge in the music industry. He’s insanely talented and provides an essential “woke” (if you will) narrative of the world. The soulful singer songwriter writes politically and socially aware tracks, which take on the topics of sexual harassment and the government’s role in society. Fender’s guitar lead music doesn’t become tiresome either and with four singles released thus far, I can’t wait to hear what comes next.

FOR FANS OF: Tom Grennan, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Declan McKenna, The Amazons

LISTEN TO: Play God, Start Again, Greasy Spoon



Superorganism are out of this world. Literally. They’re a fascinating band who experiment with sound in a unique and exciting way. Whilst their core is that of indie rock origin, they throw curveballs in the form of samples and sound effects. Their sound is refreshing to listen to, whilst their live set up is equally as exciting.

FOR FANS OF: Something totally unique, slightly out-there and with a pretty open-mind!

LISTEN TO: Something For Your M.I.N.D, Everybody Wants to Be Famous


Tom Walker

Tom Walker is a self taught musician, who has a degree in songwriting and he’s insanely brilliant at all of it. Singer/songwriter Walker fuses eclectic samples with bold beats and catchy hooks. Hip-hop and pop influence seeps in, whilst traditional songwriting remains at core. His voice is incredibly soulful and easy to listen to. He’s also set to tour the UK in March and is definitely not one to be missed.

FOR FANS OF: Jack Garratt, James Bay, Saint Raymond

LISTEN TO: Leave a Light On, Just You and I, Fly Away With Me


The Night Café

The Night Café are a brilliantly traditional indie-rock, alternative band. They’re pretty refined in their genre and their tracks could easily excite the toughest of audiences. They’ve supported Blaenavon on a couple of their tours and are playing the odd show around the country in their own right. They’re a band just on the cusp of making it big and I can’t wait to see them grow and mature into something huge.

FOR FANS OF: Blaenavon, Sundara Karma, The Magic Gang

LISTEN TO: Mixed Signals, Addicted, Felicity



FEET are one of the first bands to come out of Yala Records- the brainchild of The Maccabees Felix White. Their indie-rock, alternative sound is laced with elements of raucous punk. Whilst they’ve only officially released two songs I think they’re going to go on to do really great, big things. Watch this space.

FOR FANS OF: Slaves, Palma Violets, Cabbage, Wolf Alice

LISTEN TO: Petty Thieving, Macho Macho


King Nun

I remember the first time I saw King Nun. It was a boiling hot summers day at a market in Kingston in 2015 and the audience consisted of passers by and- mainly- band family members. I don’t remember how I wound up to be there, but the band played a memorable set. Two year’s later and the band have been signed to Dirty Hit Records- the record label behind The 1975, Wolf Alice, Superfood etc.- and have since put out a few singles and EPs. Their sound is loud and raucous. It’s gritty and raw and they play an electric live set. With the nurture of Dirty Hit, they’re certain to flourish into something big.


LISTEN TO: Tulip, Sponge, Speakerface


Bad Sounds

Brothers Ewan and Callum started Bad Sounds a couple of years ago, fusing hip hop influences with cool indie-pop. They’re experimental with sound and sampling and electronic beats run deep throughout all of their tracks. They put out a couple of EPs last year (PHRESSSH and Mixtape One) and have already embarked on their maiden tour of the UK. What’s more, they’re due to join Rat Boy on his early 2018 tour- along with the formidable Ten Tonnes.

FOR FANS OF: Superfood, something totally different.

LISTEN TO: Wages, Are You High?, Avalanche



2018- Ones to Watch


Ahhh, 2017. I don’t quite know where to begin! In a world of Brexit talks and Trump’s tweets, music lead the way for unity. From the tragic terror attack at the Manchester Arena after the Ariana Grande concert in May, which sparked international unity and created the “One Love Manchester” movement, to the rise in musicians speaking out about ‘taboo’ subjects, it really has been a big year for artists and fans alike. Ed Sheeran rewrote the chart rules (literally) and couldn’t be escaped and there were plenty of leading ladies who made their way firmly into the top spots this year too, with Dua Lipa becoming the first female British solo artist to top the charts with her single ‘New Rules’ since Adele in 2015. Oh, and there was a Glass Animals inspired pineapple ban at Reading and Leeds Festival.

Personally, I’ve had my ups and downs this year. Musically it’s been absolutely incredible though! I muddled my way through A-Level exams- with the help, exclusively, of Alt-J- passed my driving test and somehow ended up touring the UK for two months, in what was the most incredible and exciting experience of my life so far. I was incredibly lucky this year to see 167 different live music sets (through a mixture of festival sets, concerts, support acts etc), go to two weekend festivals, three day festivals and 12 concerts (excluding the many Happy Mondays gigs I saw and including four incredible Banquet Record shows).

Here are three of my biggest musical highlights:

1) I got to see Paramore play on my 18th Birthday. Paramore are my favourite band ever, and they have been for the last goodness knows how long. Somehow, after weeks of trying, I managed to get tickets to the sold out gig, whilst sat on the bus with a massive stomach ache (the things you remember, eh?). The day itself was absolutely incredible and the atmosphere was truly buzzing. They played a venue far smaller than they’re capable of, which made it feel really intimate, and the crowd sang along- loudly- word for word. It felt like the most triumphant welcome back for the band and made my birthday the best yet.

2) I had my mind sufficiently blown by Haim at Reading Festival. This year was my fourth Reading Festival and somehow I ended up winning VIP tickets. I’ve been going for years and have been lucky enough to see some of the most exciting live sets, but nothing else has been as awe-inspiring as Haim’s closing set on the NME/BBC Radio 1 Stage this year. The band played what felt like the quickest, most fun set ever, with dancing interludes, an abundance of crowd interaction and the most incredible drumming to close the set- not to mention Este’s bass face! It was the first time I’d seen the trio and it definitely won’t be my last.

3) By far the biggest highlight of the year was Lorde’s Glastonbury debut. In fact, in many ways it ruined my Glastonbury as everything else didn’t seem quite as good after that. In my eyes, she could’ve headlined. Lorde played the Other Stage on the one week “birthday” of Melodrama’s release. She opened by teasing the crowd with an orchestral version of ‘Green Light’, before playing a mixture of tracks from her both her albums.  The highlight of the set for me though was ‘The Louvre’, which she introduced by talking about “crushes” and the “rush” you get from them. She then sat on the side of the stage- to be closer to the fans- and sang ‘Liability’, which she told the audience was about “not feeling as though you’re good enough”. The set felt special. It was a real spectacle, with dancers in tilting glass boxes and huge graphics projected onto large screens, but one which didn’t feel too brash or gimmicky. It was absolutely breathtaking.

In other news, it was a year of politics too, with the line between artist and political stance becoming increasingly blurred. From snap elections to “youthquakes” to “OOOOHHH JEREMY COOOORBYNNN” being shouted at almost every music event this year, it’s been an exciting year of political unrest. This, along with other global events (Trump, climate change etc), has inspired a wave of new music, with the likes of VANT and Declan McKenna leading the way. It’s been exciting to follow. It would be crazy not to mention the thousands of people who flocked to see Jeremy Corbyn speak at Glastonbury Festival. It felt like some sort of revolution was stirring.

By far the most exciting thing I’ve done this year is tour for a couple of months with the Happy Mondays selling their merchandise. I got to meet and work with some of the most incredible, creative and inspiring people ever, which was absolutely crazy. It was a brilliant experience. As well as this, I got to see a lot of the country and visit a whole load of exciting venues, in cities such as Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. I also got to see first hand how hard the security guards work in order to keep everyone safe and that, in itself, deserves some credit.

This year I listened to A LOT of Declan McKenna. I started the year off by listening- like every other person on Earth- to a tonne of Ed Sheeran. He was simultaneously the only person I wanted to listen to and the last person I wanted to listen to. It sounds dramatic, but no one could escape Sheeran’s grasp… I distinctly remember working one Saturday morning and listening to his latest album, Divide, on repeat for four and a half hours. I also kick started the year with a bit of Sundara Karma and Blaenavon, both of which released triumphant debut albums this year. Lorde soundtracked my summer though, along with Anne-Marie, Little Mix, Clean Bandit, Haim, Glass Animals and Dua Lipa. In the Autumn I was obsessed by Wolf Alice, Blondie and Marika Hackman, whose album I’m Not Your Man was one of the best released this year. Recently I’ve been loving Rex Orange County’s “Best Friend” and a whole load of other up and coming artists. I’m so excited to see what 2018 brings for them.

So, what’s to come? This blog is going to undertake a big makeover at some point. I’ve got SO much planned, which I’m really excited to share. I’m looking forward to seeing lots of up and coming artists release their debut albums, to going to many festivals and concerts and to seeing what the year brings in terms of comebacks.

Thank you for reading this blog. I know I’ve not been so good at blogging over the last couple of months, but I’m going to change that.





Album of the Year 2017

2017  was a year which saw the release of many massive albums, many of which challenged and changed the way we view music. The year was dominated by huge chart topping albums by globally recognised artists, like Stormzy and Ed Sheeran, many of which opened up the listener to a more intimate, sensitive side of the artist, by tackling so-called ‘taboo’ topics, such as mental health. There was also the return of politically loaded records, which were birthed from the political and social upheaval of the last few years, and we saw a whole host of women take the reins in the album charts with hugely deserved hit albums. It’s no surprise this year’s top five albums were the hardest to choose yet.

Here’s my top five:


I can’t begin to tell you how excited I was when I heard VANT’s debut album, DUMB BLOOD, for the first time all the way back in February. Pre-release the album already boasted a plethora of successful, punchy statement singles, including ‘FLY-BY ALIEN’, ‘PARKING LOT’ and ‘KARMA SEEKER’. The album- which was released on the hugely successful and influential major record label Parlophone– takes on current world events (such as war and climate change), the band’s shared frustrations about God and peace and, crucially, voices a ‘lost’ generation through a major platform. The album itself has an almost revolutionary punk feel, whilst remaining true to its indie-rock, guitar roots. It feels like a statement. Sadly, this will be the last album from the London based band, as they announced their indefinite hiatus later on in the year, but this is definitely one of the greatest things to have come out of 2017.

4) Visions of a Life– Wolf Alice

The second album is often said to be a tricky one, especially when your debut album gained you a Mercury Prize nomination and a Grammy nod, but Wolf Alice returned blasé about any of that. The album’s raucous lead single, ‘Yuk Foo’, thoroughly cemented their return, with its shouted lyrics and self-assured sentiment. Wolf Alice finally seemed comfortable with their sound, and didn’t really care if you didn’t. They went onto release the far from cheesy love song ‘Don’t Delete the Kisses’ and effortlessly cool ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ before the album’s full release, which exemplified their versatility. Their sound felt more sophisticated and polished than ever before, yet as experimental as ever. Songs like ‘Formidable Cool’, ‘Planet Hunter’ and ‘Space and Time’, which shows glimmer of a 1980s Blondie within it, are stand alone hits, which sit nicely within their already brilliant back catalogue too.

3) After Laughter– Paramore

I don’t think many people were expecting Paramore’s return so soon. The band had lost bassist Jeremy Davis, were caught in the midst of a fierce legal battle and lead singer Hayley Williams had been going through hard times of her own. But right from the heart of the flames, rose an After Laughter shaped Phoenix, which couldn’t have been any more triumphant. Ex-drummer Zac Farro rejoined the band and they managed to put together a bold 12 track album- produced by guitarist Taylor York and previous collaborator Justin Meldal-Johnsen. The lead single ‘Hard Times’ was a huge upbeat, 80s influenced, guilt free ‘pop’ song- a far cry from the days of Riot! and All We Know if Falling. So what though? The album is mostly upbeat, but outlines the struggles of the last few years, of love and loss, of mental health struggles and the strain of fame, with a melancholic undertone. It feels intimate and comfortable, as opposed to the experimental nature of 2013’s self-titled sensation, Paramore. Songs like ‘Caught in the Middle’, ‘Rose-Coloured Boy’ and ‘Fake Happy’ are songs you want to belt out in the car, in the shower, at huge sold-out concerts. Music can unite people and I think this album brought the band closer to the fans. Paramore have really regenerated themselves in a way which sees them bare all to the listener. It would’ve been very easy for Paramore to give up and yet from the turmoil came this gem of an album.

2) What Do You Think About The Car? -Declan McKenna

There aren’t many 18 year olds who can say they’ve put out a top 20 album, played some of the world’s biggest festivals and have already been recognised for their incredible success, but Declan McKenna has certainly achieved all those things. What Do You Think About The Car? is one of the year’s most thought provoking albums. It brings up questions of world politics and challenges ideas of society through McKenna’s cleverly written, witty lyrics. The debut album features previously released singles, including the FIFA 2014 World Cup corruption inspired ‘Brazil’, ‘Isombard’, where McKenna imagines the narrative of a right wing, ‘Fox News’ style character, and ‘Paracetamol’, which focuses on the representation of transgender people in the media, as well as exciting new tracks, such as ‘Why Do You Feel So Down?’ and ‘Listen to Your Friends’, which features a cleverly written bridge. He broaches subjects with a concise sensitivity, which questions the absurdity of the world we live in. It’s very refreshing to hear. The references are often subtle, so the songs can be enjoyed plainly as good, exciting indie-rock too. Declan Mckenna seems to be leading the way in up and coming music and I’m looking forward to seeing what else comes from his success.

1) Melodrama– Lorde

Each year there seems to be an album so clearly above any other album released that year, last year it was The 1975’s cinematic second album and this year it’s Lorde’s stunning Melodrama.

When Lorde released her debut album, Pure Heroine, she was 16 years old. She sang of love and lust, as well as the struggles of being a teenager who was ‘different’. She sang with a maturity which seemed far beyond her years, in a style that crossed genres and was championed by the likes of David Bowie. The album- and its hit single ‘Royals’- won the New Zealand born singer two Grammy’s, out of four nominations. So, where do you go from there?

Lorde returned early last year, off the back of her first major heartbreak, with the album’s lead single ‘Green Light’. The song went on to be one of the summer’s biggest releases, with its gloriously feel good, upbeat dance vibe and its infectiously catchy, in-part nonsensical- or rather metaphorical- lyrics. The song created a huge buzz for the new album.

The highly anticipated Melodrama was released on June 16th 2017 in the UK and I remember rushing out to buy it the next day. We played it for the first time in the car, whilst driving down country lanes on a hot and sunny summer afternoon, and I remember feeling as though the album was special. The album opens up with ‘Green Light’, but takes us on a creative vision and artistic journey into the minds of both Lorde and her collaborator/producer Jack Antonoff (who has also worked with Taylor Swift and Pink this year). It’s an album which demands to be heard in full. It commands the respect of vinyl, a format on which it is due to be released on early next year, whilst still allowing the listener to dip in to it for a quick fix. The lyrics seem more mature than that on Pure Heroine, as if she has had to grow up over the last few years, literally in age and through the experiences she has had. They centre on heartbreak and loss, as well as growing up on the whole. Notably, ‘The Louvre’ is the album’s obvious stand out. Lorde manages to encapsulate a feeling of intense infatuation, which many can relate to, through a doting love song. The lyrics “but we’re the greatest, they’ll hang us in The Louvre, down the back, but who cares still the Louvre” are, by far, the greatest of 2017. ‘Liability’ is also extremely poignant. It focuses on self-image and introspection, which is incredibly intimate in itself. Lorde seems to focus on how she feels the world around her sees her and how she herself fits into it, whilst laying out the flaws she finds within herself. She releases her self-worth, as the song is reprised later on in the album. We grow up with her. In addition, ‘Writer in the Dark’ has an incredible undertone of Kate Bush within it, whilst the use of samples in ‘Hard Feelings/Loveless’ seems to add another dimension to the album.

Melodrama is a masterpiece.


Here it seems obvious to mention- despite just falling short of my top five- Ed Sheeran’s third album Divide. Any album which can hoard the top 16 of the UK singles charts (yes, that’s every single song on the album, including the deluxe bonus tracks), go double platinum immediately and outsell any other album in its first week ever, outselling the combined next 500 most popular albums that week, deserves some credit. The album- and Sheeran himself- is extraordinarily clever. There’s a song on there for every type of music fan- from dance to rap to ballads to pure pop. You literally cannot escape ‘Shape of You’ and I guarantee you that once it’s played you’ll have its catchy chorus and hook lingering in your head for hours.

Other artists to narrowly miss out on the top five were Blaenavon’s debut That’s Your Lot, Sundara Karma’s Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect, Marika Hackman’s I’m Not Your Man, Stormzy’s Gang Signs and Prayer, Will Joseph Cook’s Sweet Dreamer, Superfood’s Bambino, Dua Lipa’s self titled debut, Dua Lipa, amongst others.

In 2018, I’m looking forward to album releases by Fickle Friends, The Vaccines, The Wombats, The 1975 (with Music For Cars), and Arctic Monkeys. I’m saying Arctic Monkeys will resurface between September and November… Unless they’re feeling friendly and want to headline a summer festival- then they’ll be back by May! Who know’s what’ll make it onto this list in the next year, but I do know that I’m excited about what’s to come.

Album of the Year 2017

November 2017 and December 2017- What I’m Listening To

Apologies… It’s been an absolute age since I last wrote a blog post, but what an exciting few months it has been. For the last two months I’ve been doing the merchandise on tour for the legendary late 80s/90s Manchester band the Happy Mondays and it’s been the most incredible experience ever. However, it has been time consuming and full on, so I’ve neglected the blog a bit. I’m back now though- and more inspired and excited about music than ever!

This post is going to feature two playlists, so I can catch you up a bit on what’s been going on…

So, November. Quick round up. The Wombats are back and releasing new music (“Turn” and “Lemon in a Knife Fight” are an exciting taste of what’s to come in 2018),  The Vaccines are teasing an immanent new album and the 2018 festival season is shaping up to be huge. My playlist includes Rex Orange County’s ‘Best Friend’, which I absolutely adore, Noel Gallagher’s latest scissor-tastic single ‘Holy Mountain’, E^ST, Tidal Waves and The Charlatans, as I’ve just finished watching E4’s My Mad Fat Diary, for which the music is heavily influenced by the music of the 90s.

December has been a bit more hazy! The festival announcements keep coming- the most notably exciting so far has got to be the one day Finsbury Park event, Community Festival. I, however, spent the month over indulging in glorious, guilt free pop music, with Camila Cabello’s ‘Havana’, Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ (not the Beyoncé version though) and Taylor Swift’s ‘Gorgeous’ on repeat.  Yes, you read that right (and I’m not even sorry).  There’s even Elbow, who seem to have soundtracked what I’ve managed to squeeze in of Christmas over the last month, with their cover of The Beatles ‘Golden Slumber’. There’s a couple of new tracks from Peace and The Wombats and a large helping of the Happy Mondays, who I’ve fortunately managed to catch countless times over the last month.

New year means new music, Paramore at the O2, more festival announcements and the start of something new- hopefully!

November 2017 and December 2017- What I’m Listening To

October 2017- What I’m Listening To

October was a big month.

October saw a reckless terror attack on innocent music goers in the US, the release of a Wolf Alice tour based Michael Winterbottom film and a plethora of tour dates released by The Streets. There was Liam Gallagher selling out a huge 2018 Finsbury Park gig in minutes, the dawn of an all new All Points East festival and dates released for the next Bestival and Glastonbury Festival. There was even promises of new music from The Wombats, Saint Raymond and the news of V Festival changing its household name.

But the biggest news of all, or at least for me, was that the brilliant VANT were splitting up. In the last year they’ve released an absolutely incredible and refreshing debut album and toured constantly. I’ve championed the band for the last year and they made it onto my ‘ones to watch in 2017’ list. The band stood for something big and exciting- revolutionary. They voiced a generation via a big platform through a major record label, whilst still keeping in touch with fans. The news was shocking and unexpected, but brought information about a new EP and a short farewell tour. I’ll definitely miss the band, but their short success is definitely something to be proud of. Long live VANT.

This month I’ve been listening to a lot of Loyle Carner, Wolf Alice and Lorde. I can’t get enough of up and coming artists including Superorganism and their explosive single ‘Something for your M.I.N.D’, Cassia and Pale Waves.

I discovered the incredibly talented Marika Hackman. I have my mind blown by music often, but discovering Marika Hackman was one of the best things to have happened over the last few months, having seen her play at Reading earlier this year. I’ve had I’m Not Your Man on repeat for the last month and I can’t get enough of it. The indie-folk singer sings effortless cool, calm and collected songs, with somewhat dark, twisted lyrics deep rooted with wit and humour. She’s absolutely brilliant and I urge everyone to have a listen. I recommend you start with ‘Boyfriend’.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of Blondie. ‘Rapture’ is my power song and gets me prepped for any difficult situation. Its been a bus journey staple.


October 2017- What I’m Listening To

Lorde, The Brighton Centre (30/09/2017)

Lorde brought stunning vocals, spectacular visuals, dancers and Melodrama (in all sense of the word) to The Brighton Centre on the 30th September 2017. She was supported by up and coming artist singer/songwriter Khalid, who won over the sold-out audience with his soulful songs.

Let’s talk about her UK tour as an artistic extension of her latest album, Melodrama, which was released in June this year. Over the summer, Lorde brought Melodrama to festivals globally with dancers in huge tilting glass boxes, orchestras and a large screen showing images sympathetically changing with the songs. It was emotional, moving, and, above all, a real spectacle, which launched Lorde into the big game. I was hoping her UK tour would be different and that, again, she would push production to the limits. She did. Between sets an old TV set was wheeled onto the stage and placed on the side of the stage. The centre of the stage was adorned by hand-drawn neon lights- of astronauts and flowers, their changing broke up the set, as if different acts of a play-  and crowned by a neon sign saying ‘Melodrama’. Lorde herself brought out captivating dancers, had costume changes and gave her vocals to poetic interludes streamed through the old television paired with fascinating visuals throughout the set. It felt like an experience. As if an artistic expression, as opposed to just a pop concert.

Lorde opened with ‘Magnets’, a collaboration she did with British DJ duo Disclosure, which seamlessly flowed into ‘Tennis Court’, from her first album Pure Heroine, and then a plethora of new songs, including ‘The Louvre’, ‘Hard Feelings’ and ‘Sober’, which told the story of youth, fame and broken hearts. It felt as if you were on a journey with her.

The set was sewn together with anecdotes handed out to the crowd as if we were friends of hers. It felt intimate. The highlight of the set was definitely when she played ‘Liability’, closely followed by ‘Liability (Reprise)’. Lorde offered the story of the song to adoring fans and how she had once felt “too much” and a bit lost- perhaps something audience members could relate to. It felt extraordinarily vulnerable, but showed a crucial connection to the audience. This was exemplified further when she jumped into the crowd and sung to members of the crowd from the barrier.

Lorde’s unique vocals lend themselves to many songs. On this tour she put her spin ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, which she had covered in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge days earlier. This felt refreshing and broke up the set, whilst still feeling like Lorde. It was exciting to see Lorde take on such an iconic, ambitious song.

The New Zealand born singer brought the set to a close with her breakthrough track, ‘Royals’, followed by ‘Perfect Places’, ‘Team’ and the sensational ‘Green Light’, which brought a gleeful dance party to the Brighton Centre. The crowd- and Lorde herself- danced under a storm of star confetti and the stage went dark.

Confused as to whether or not that was the end audience members began to stir and many began screaming for more. After a few minutes a sampler was placed onto the stage and Lorde- this time on her own, without dancers, her band or huge production- resurfaced from side of stage. She played Loveless under a spotlight on the sampler and left the stage to a roar of applause. It was definitely a thought-provoking ending, with the words ‘L-O-V-E-L-E-S-S Generation’ fading out the set. Was it a lasting statement on the modern way of life, of love?

Lorde’s set was triumphant, bold and ambitious. It felt like a stage show almost. She always manages to captivate a concert on a level of intimacy, of audience interest, with artistic license. She treats shows as a way of expressing herself, expressing art, expressing the way she wants her music to be perceived and the music makes sense within this context. Having said this, if metaphorical, artsy statements aren’t for you, it was genuinely a refreshing live music experience and all round brilliant pop-concert (although that statement feels crudely lost within this context).

Lorde, The Brighton Centre (30/09/2017)